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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Annis, Jenna Marie [1], Primer, Samantha B. [2], Coons, Janice [3], Molano-Flores, Brenda [4], Feist, Mary Ann [5].

Seeing red in a sea of green: anthocyanin production in the carnivorous plant, Pinguicula planifolia.

The occurrence of anthocyanins in the vegetative tissues of evolutionarily distinct carnivorous plant families suggests these pigments may provide physiological adaptations. The state threatened Pinguicula planifolia (Lentibulariaceae) is one of six carnivorous butterwort species endemic to the Florida Panhandle. This butterwort species expresses a distinguishing characteristic of visible anthocyanin variation on its insect-trapping leaves. How these anthocyanin levels are prompted to differ in the leaves or are affecting prey capture is unknown. Our objectives were to determine how environmental factors impact anthocyanin production in P. planifolia, and to determine how anthocyanin affects prey capture. Three field studies were conducted at populations within the Florida Panhandle and a lab study was conducted at Eastern Illinois University. For the first field study, chlorophyll and anthocyanin contents in leaves were measured as a factor of light intensity, water depth, soil nutrients, water nutrients, and habitat structure. In the second field study, artificial sticky traps painted to match leaf colors (red, green, or control) were established next to plants with red or green leaves to determine how color affects prey capture. The third field study consisted of three treatments established for marked plants (control, clipped, and caged). These treatments tested the effects of changing solar radiation on leaves by manipulating light intensity exposure to plants over time. The laboratory study tested ex situ responses of P. planifolia anthocyanin production to artificial environmental cues including light intensity, nutrient levels, and substrate moisture levels. Leaf anthocyanin content is linked to changes in light intensity. Environmental factors such as water level and vegetation height significantly impact anthocyanin production, an affect that is likely linked to sunlight exposure. Artificial changes in light exposure to leaves over time can significantly impact anthocyanin production. Anthocyanins do not enhance insect prey capture. Exposure to solar radiation may be the prominent environmental cue that determines anthocyanin production in these carnivorous plants. While anthocyanin may not serve a role in prey attraction for this species, it may be providing a physiological advantage to plants growing in areas of high solar radiation.

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1 - Eastern Illinois University, 1680 University Dr. Apt 10, Charleston, IL, 61920, USA
2 - University of Illinois, Plant Biology, 1816 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL, 61820
3 - Eastern Illinois University, Department of Biological Sciences, 600 Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL, 61920
4 - Illinois Natural History Survey, Center for Wildlife and Plant Ecology, 1816 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL, 61820-6970, USA
5 - University Of Wisconsin-Madison, Department Of Botany, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI, 53706, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 21
Location: Salon 17/18/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 4:00 PM
Number: 21010
Abstract ID:670
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

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